The NME guide to Tobago

Visit British Airways for the best airfares to Tobago

Think Tobago is just for beach lovers? Then think again!

Ever wanted to visit somewhere that makes you feel like you’re in your own music video? Well then a trip to Tobago should be on the cards. But don’t be put off if you think the Caribbean Island is just for beach bunnies and honeymooners, there’s so much more to Tobago than crystal clear waters and unspoilt beaches. Here’s what you should be doing and where you should be visiting if you take a trip to the island.

The best experiences in Tobago

Hike up a waterfall? Check! Swimming in a pool in the middle of the sea? Check! Some of the best snorkelling in the world? Check, check and check! Here’s what you should be getting up to.

Hike up Argyle Falls

Argyle Falls is Tobago’s tallest waterfall (standing at 175 feet!) It’s a 20-minute hike from the town of Roxborough, but once there you can swim in the pools on each of the fall’s three tiers, or channel your inner Tarzan by swinging on a vine into the water.

Swim in Nylon Pool

What’s better than an infinity pool? A natural swimming pool in the middle of the ocean – which is what the beautiful Nylon Pool is! Located off Pigeon Point, it’s only accessible by boat, but definitely take the time to visit. Plus, rumours say that if you take a dip you’ll end up looking ten years younger.

Go snorkelling

The Island has tons of gorgeous places to snorkel. If you head to Speyside you may catch a glimpse of a manta ray, over at Englishman’s Bay you may see a moray eel, and if you’re lucky there’s a chance you’ll see turtles swimming at Pirate’s Bay.

Take a diving trip

And if you haven’t seen enough of the Island’s rich wildlife whilst snorkelling, why not take a diving trip? The best place to head for this is Speyside, where there are several companies that can take you for a dive. We recommend taking a trip where you can visit the Kelleston Drain – the world’s biggest brain coral.

© Ty Sawyer

Enjoy a bioluminescence tour

An amazing and totally different way to see the Island is by enjoying a night-time kayaking or paddle boarding trip to Bon Accord Lagoon, where the waters are illuminated by a shimmering lightshow of glowing bioluminescent marine plankton, which occurs as the calm waters are disturbed. It’s basically like swimming in a futuristic night club.

Go to Buccoo Sunday School

Sunday School is a vibrant street party, and a great way to experience a traditional part of Tobagonian social life. The party starts at 8pm every Sunday evening when the Steel Band orchestra play for a couple of hours, and then it evolves into a huge street party with amazing music, which continues well into the night.

The best beaches to visit in Tobago

Tobago is known for its beautiful sand beaches and crystal-clear waters, and there’s one for everyone. Whether you’re looking for the perfect place to try your hand at a new water-sport like stand up paddle-boarding, or somewhere you can enjoy a secluded beach to yourself, there’s one for you. Here are some of the best.

Pigeon Point Heritage Park

Pigeon Point is often considered Tobago’s most beautiful beach. If you want to try a water-sport, or get your ‘gram on at the iconic thatch-roof jetty, this is the beach for you. There is a small entrance fee (about £2), but it’s worth the money for the stunning views.

Speyside

Speyside is a fishing village in the north of the Island, which has beaches stretching alongside it. If you’re a keen diver this is the place to visit, as from here you can explore Kelleston Drain (where the world’s biggest brain coral is!)

Englishman’s Bay

A more secluded option, Englishman’s Bay draws less tourists than the island’s other options. Nestled between the Caribbean Sea and the rainforest, this is one to head to if you’re dreaming of a private beach.

Pirates Bay

Another quiet beach, you can only reach Pirates Bay by foot or boat. If you’re walking it’s a 20 minute hike out of the lovely village of Charlotteville, but the scenic walk is well worth it, especially as the chances are once you arrive you’ll be one of only a few people on the beach.

Pirate's Bay Tobago

Cotton Bay

Only accessible by boat, Cotton Bay is an untouched gem. It’s another located between the sea and the rainforest, meaning you can enjoy a hike through the forest before cooling down with a dip in the crystal clear waters.

Where to eat and drink in Tobago?

Blue Crab Restaurant

This lovely restaurant in Scarborough is a must for excellent Tobagonian food. Run by married couple Kenneth (the chef) and Alison (who works front of house), you can expect first-rate service and delicious grub. We recommend booking a table, as it can get busy and they’re not open every day.

Makara Restaurant

Makara offers modern Caribbean food. Located in Buccoo village, enjoy a tasty meal with stunning views. A top tip would be to eat there on a Sunday evening, as then you can watch the beginning of Sunday School (a weekly street party, which starts with a steel band orchestra).

La Tartaruga

At La Tartaruga, you can enjoy a glass of their award winning wine on the covered terrace, or enjoy a meal of delicious Italian food (which is made with the restaurant’s own home grown herbs). But be sure to not visit on a Sunday – as the restaurant isn’t open then.

The Seahorse Inn

A favourite of both locals and visitors to Tobago – here you can load up on gorgeous seafood with a soundtrack of the waves on the beach below.

Where to stay in Tobago

Mount Irvine Bay Resort

The stunning hotel is one for those who like a bit of luxury. It sits on a former sugar plantation, and boasts amazing views of the Caribbean Sea. Here you can relax in the spa, enjoy a round of golf or take a dip in the pool, and if you’re feeling more adventurous the hotel partners with Undersea Tobago, so they can help you organise a snorkelling or dive trip.

Castara Retreats Caribbean Eco Lodges

An alternative to staying in a hotel is staying in an eco lodge. Located in the village of Castara, these charming treehouse-style homes mean you can enjoy your stay immersed in the lush nature of the island. Snuggled between the beach and the rainforest, there’s plenty of chance to enjoy the natural beauty that Tobago has to offer, and if you’re lucky you might spot hummingbirds , or even dolphins in the bay.